In November of 2013 the Hernando County Commission passed the final draft of the Fertilizer Application Ordinance. The ordinance contains new rules and restrictions that effect commercial applicators, municipal workers and homeowners alike and was passed to help reduce the amounts of inorganic nitrogen that is entering the Florida aquifer and local springs.
Prohibited Fertilizer Application Periods (applies to everyone):
o When the National Weather Service has a flood, tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning in effect
o When heavy rain is expected
o Prior to seeding/ sodding a site and for 30 days after
Fertilizer Free Zones (applies to everyone):
o No fertilizer within 10 feet of any pond, stream, spring or any other body of water
o No fertilizer within 3 feet of any seawall (unless a deflector shield, drop spreader or liquid applicator with a defined edge is used)
o No mowed plant material may be left in these zones or deposited in the street, sidewalk, or any body of water.
o Any fertilizer that falls or spills on an impervious surface, such as a sidewalk, pavement, etc. must be immediately remove and re-containerized or applied to turf
Closed Season for Lawn Fertilization (applies to private residents):
o Homeowners may not apply fertilizer or any treatment that contains fertilizer, such as weed and feed products, to their lawn From January 1 until March 31
Special Restrictions for Professional Applicators:
o Must complete Green Industries Best Management Practices training and hold a Limited Certification for Urban Landscape Commercial Fertilizer Application license by Jan. 1, 2014
o Must register with Hernando County by June 1, 2014
o Trained, certified and registered professionals are allowed to fertilize during the homeowner closed season (Jan. 1- March 31), but must use a slow release nitrogen product
For information on fertilization of turf, landscape plants, vegetable gardens, fruit trees or shrubs or to order a soil test to determine soil deficiencies, contact the Hernando County UF/IFAS Extension office at (352) 754-4433.